After having played in 1960’s garage bands in the small town of Clayton, NC, Don found himself on a horse farm in Bithlo, Florida March 28th, 1970 at Winters End Concert. An unknown band (to him) ambled on stage and hit the opening of “Statesboro Blues”, changing this classically trained Vox Jaguar playing youngsters musical universe forever. Discovering The Allman Brothers Band was an experience that changed everything. Who he listened to, what he listened for, and how he wanted to play was a true awakening of his soul. Standing out was the Hammond B-3 being caressed and rocked by Gregg Allman. The first 8 bars of “Statesboro Blues” and the Hammond filling the speakers left an impression that is still a part of his existence.
Fast forward through Vietnam, college, corporate and private business to 2013 when Eason (along with Dave George and Robert Kintner) founded the blues/rock band “Idlewild South ~ The Allman Brothers Band Tribute”. Over the course of the existence of the band they have played venues across the South and East Coast of the country, including the annual Georgia Allman Brothers Band Associations (GABBA) Festival, “GABBAfest”, The Big House (The Allman Brothers Band Museum), The Macon Opera House and the Legendary Grant’s Lounge, all in Macon, Georgia, where it all began. Idlewild South initiated the “PRE-GABBA JAM” at The Back Porch Lounge, which has now grown to “The GABBA SHOWCASE”, currently being held at The Hargray-Capitol Theatre in Macon. Over the last few years Idlewild South has shared the stage with Gregg Allman keyboardist and Hammond Artist Bruce Katz, Allman Brothers Band keyboardist Johnny Neel, Hammond Artist Eddie Stone of Wet Willie, Donna Hall of Wet Willie, Chris Hicks of The Marshall Tucker Band and Dickey Betts bassist Marty Privette, who is now Idlewild South’s bass player/vocalist. Eason has individually played with The Marshall Tucker Band, Tommy Talton (Cowboy/Gregg Allman Band), Charlie Heyward (Charlie Daniels Band), Marcus James Henderson, Ryan Ware and Chris Hicks all of The Marshall Tucker Band, Harvey Dalton Arnold (The Outlaws), Robert Lee Coleman (James Brown/Percy Sledge), Lamar Williams, Jr. (The New Mastersound) and more.
The Hammond B-3 (and a B-2) is the only organ Don has played since purchasing his first in 1974 and will continue as long as his health and ability to play allow him. He says this often: “There is nothing like the sound of a Hammond, it’s the sound of the Church Choir, the subtlety of a Brahms Lullaby and the Roar of the Rockin’ Blues; there is absolutely no substitute”.
Don currently stays busy playing with Idlewild South, The Chris Hicks Band and any other musical endeavor that would like to share his playing. He is a member of the Georgia Allman Brothers Band Association Advisory Board, supporter of The Big House-The Allman Brothers Band Museum and spends a good amount of time in Macon, Georgia playing every chance available.
Crediting the support of his wife Debi, his bandmates in Idlewild South, the musicians he has been fortunate enough to play with and many others Don plans on continuing to travel and play knowing “The Road Goes On Forever”……..